Some advanced file systems, like ZFS have the option of using SSD disks as a second level cache for the file system or for the journal.

Is this possible with NTFS?

  • 1
    The metadata journal is held by a file named $logfile in the root of the file system. I highly doubt it's possible to move this file, or hardlink it to another drive. But it would be interesting to try at least.
    – Chris S
    Jun 5 '10 at 1:58

Unfortunately not. The only filesystems I'm aware of that can do this are WAFL (The NetApp file system) and ZFS from Sun (Which borrows a lot of concepts from WAFL)
I wouldn't be surprised if other modern filesystems such as NILFS also used SSD for write journals, but I can't say I've seen anything written up to suggest that this is the case.

Suggested reading:
ZFS data integrity tested
How Microsoft puts your data at risk

  • 2
    You can put the journal on an external device with almost any filesystem on Linux. XFS, JFS, ext3 and ext4 all support putting the journal on a separate device. These do not however allow for the same sort of 2nd level caching that ZFS allows for on SSD. Jun 5 '10 at 2:11
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    I just read that "How Microsoft puts your data at risk" artical. Incredibly poor journalism, going for the typical sensationalised headlines to get readers. Gives several paragraphs to NTFS's shortfalls, admits that these shortfalls are in most file systems, and then glosses over all the other file systems with a massive plug for ZFS. Nov 30 '10 at 22:19
  • Did you notice his note at the end? "I single out Microsoft because their negligence impacts more people than any other company." I'm not particularly of the opinion that ZFS is the be all and end all of file systems, but it's certainly a big step in the right direction. Now we just need to push MS in that direction too.
    – Ausmith1
    Dec 6 '10 at 22:47

I read through the linked blog post. It sounds similar to what MS have done in Vista/7 with ReadyBoost.

  • Unfortunately, ReadyBoost can only be used with USB flash drives, and not with SSD drives (SATA/SAS interfaces). Oct 12 '09 at 10:20
  • 1
    ReadyBoost is just a disk cache that happens to use flash, it does not offload the NTFS metadata files.
    – Ausmith1
    Mar 15 '10 at 17:24

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